Towards the theory of evolutionary series of technical systems

Y. B. Karasik,
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
Ottawa, Canada.

According to the historians of science, mechanics started turning into a precise science when search for answers to questions "Why happens ?" was replaced by search for answers to questions "What happens ?". The ancient and medieval philosophers tried to explain phenomena without studying them. And Galilei, according to the historians, did not try to explain anything but just tried to take measurements of how various variables change in the course of the motion of a body.

There is a small detail here, which historians invariably miss, though. Galilei had to invent what to measure and how. This was not obvious.

Taking measurements amounts to collecting various series of data. In Galilei case they were series of data pertinent to the mechanical motion. With collecting of such series mechanics started turning into a precise science.

This gives us a pointer to how to turn TRIZ into a precise science. All philosophical discussions of what evolution of technical systems is should be put aside. Instead we have to start collecting various series. As Galilei, we have to invent which series to collect, of course. This is the most difficult part.

A year ago I started devising various meaningful series pertinent to evolution of technical system. I called them evolutionary series although some people may object to the term "evolutionary" on the grounds that the broad definition of evolution as a process of change of something over time contradicts their views on evolution. They still argue whether evolution is a qualitative change as opposed to just quantitative change, which they call development, etc. They still argue that evolution of technical systems does not exist because they cannot discern elements of biological evolution or evolution of stars in it.

As the history of science teaches us, all these philosophical debates will not produce a science. They are fruitless because it is hard to define what a qualitative change is and what a quantitative change is. They are fruitless because even if one takes just biological evolution for the real one, the other types of evolution do not cease to exist because of it. The history of science teaches us that the way to science lies through abandoning these debates and through starting devising meaningful series to collect.

This issue of the journal continues the effort in this direction.